COMMON GROUND 2021 : "On the Farm"

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Birr Theatre & Arts Centre will host the 14th Annual Common Ground – an exhibition of work by artists living in the Midlands to be held from November – December 2021.


This year the theme for Common Ground (referring to a group of artists coming together to exhibit) will be “On The Farm” (all mediums considered)


The exhibition will be curated by a guest selector and it is intended that the resulting exhibition will showcase the exceptional talent and diversity of Visual Artists in the Midlands today.


This years Common Ground is inspired by the theme “On The Farm”


Walking Slowly Towards Space (Credit Ros

Dr Niamh Shaw - Walking Slowly Towards Space (Credit Ros Kavanagh 2018)

Exploring Birr Skies | Contemporary & Heritage Astronomy 
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‘Science is determining relationships between variables, interpreting data and looking for patterns. When we find the patterns, we will then create a movement.’ Dr. Niamh Shaw 


Inspired by the astronomical heritage and contemporary astrophysical research in Birr, science communicator and creative, Dr. Niamh Shaw will collaborate with Birr Theatre & Arts Centre & Birr Tidy Towns and local cross stitchers to map and observe Birr Skies with its celestial objects such as stars, planets, comets, meteors and other objects beyond our naked eye.  


This will be done through a programme of online workshops, night sky observations, with guest speakers incl. Dr Áine Flood, I-LOFAR, an initiative led by Trinity College Dublin, and site visits to Birr Castle Demesne over the coming months.


Working with the data of the past and present, of astrophysical objects discovered and observed through the Great Telescope, as well as data from I-LOFAR, Niamh and her collaborators will map out historical and contemporary astronomical features and their coordinates.


Using these coordinates, a suite of physical movements will be choreographed for an outdoor performance.  The performance will also be filmed and available as a stand-alone film work.

This initiative is in collaboration with Birr Theatre & Arts Centre, Birr Tidy Towns, Birr Castle Demesne and  I-LOFAR, an initiative led by Trinity College Dublin, and supported by the Creative Ireland Programme (2017 -2022) in partnership with Offaly County Council.

For more information and to get involved please email: